I have a close relationship with food. My family is Italian and German and my grandparents are hardcore foodies. In short, my family loves to eat. However, my personal relationship with food has changed a lot over the years. In middle school I went vegetarian because I discovered PETA. In high school and college I have been in and out of pescetarianism, sometimes going completely back to eating meat and other times eating almost completely vegetarian and only eating fish a couple times a month. I’ve cut a lot of dairy out of my diet and drink vanilla almond milk religiously. But what I’ve realized over the past two years is that, aside from my main protein, I have put little to no real thought toward what I am putting into my body. I didn’t look into the sustainability of the fish I was eating or what my meat had been fed. Something canned was as good to me as something fresh. I didn’t start buying mostly organic until recently, despite the prices. Until this past year, I haven’t really thought about GMOs in relation to what I’ve been putting in my body. But as I’ve gotten older and learned more and more about our health and the health of our environment, I really can’t avoid the thought every time I eat. And that’s a good thing, in my opinion, because it has forced me to change. It’s forced me to start considering food a lot more carefully, which will hopefully lead me to a healthier and guilt free lifestyle.
I still love food. I care about food today more than I ever have. I don’t want to turn a blind eye anymore, simply because I know I can’t fix the enormous problems that our food industry has created. This is an issue that has become increasingly more important to me. It is more than GMO vs organic. It is more than environmental and ecological impact. The issues in the way we grow, process, and distribute food truly go full circle. It is bad for us, it is bad for our environment, and it is bad for the people who work in the fields (although thats another important issue that deserves it’s own blog post entirely). What we’re doing with food is not okay. For anyone or anything. We need to farm, hunt, and fish locally, sustainably, and intelligently. We shouldn’t have to make the choice between unhealthy and less unhealthy. It should be difficult for us to fill our bodies with chemicals, instead of difficult to fill ourselves with wholesome foods, as it is now.
I am excited about the food I am eating now. It’s different and it is somewhat limited compared to what I use to eat, but in a way that feels right. My love affair with food will continue, but I’m being conscious now of which foods I’m giving my heart to.
Personal photo: edible flowers at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market.